Step 1. Lean into the discomfort.
Not what you wanted to hear, was it 😂
I've spent the last few weeks trying to run back to a feeling of normalcy instead of grieving what once was. It feels like the ease of times that once were will never just *be* again (breathe - it is okay to not be okay - you are safe here). In case you need someone's permission: you are allowed to grieve the times that once were!
I find it laughable now, reading back over this sweet little ditty from The Atlantic: Is That Nostalgia You're Feeling? from April of 2020. Yes, APRIL. Just weeks into what has now been nearly a year of "new normal". Nostalgia and grief aren't only for things of bygone days. "It’s totally fine if you’re missing the extremely recent past, when you could look at your friends up close and go to Dunkin’ Donuts. Call it newstalgia, call it temporary nostalgia, call it whatever you want. It’s good for you, so go ahead and soak in it a little" (Kaitlyn Tiffany, 2020). It is okay to long for connection, even if you've only been feeling the disconnect for a short while.
Grief is hard! We know this, and because we know this it's often easier to try and avoid the process than it is to sit deep in a puddle of cold, wet, heavy grief. It is certainly easier for me to keep telling myself I can't teach the same yoga classes I taught before having a second emergency c-section, than it is to dig through that thick, gloppy earth and immerse myself in it. It's dirty, and grimy, and tiresome - but it is worth it.
When we lean into the discomfort, we are allowing ourselves to feel something... icky. We are telling ourselves we are still okay in the midst of that discomfort. We are still safe. We are giving ourselves the opportunity to move through the grief, and into a place that's a tiny bit lighter.
I often feel like grief is just standing behind me, pushing me into a giant pile of itself. I've got my feet planted, gripping the ground with my toes and the arches of my feet. I tell myself "I'm strong enough!" I can keep myself here for a while: tensing those muscles, digging my heels in, locking my knees (are you feeling the fatigue yet?). I can hang on for a few more minutes!
Relax the gripping in your toes. Uncross your legs. Rest your knees in toward one another. Soften the arches of your feet.
Lean into it. You are still safe. -Alison